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How to use Fresh From the Word for maximum impact

20.05.19

How do you approach the idea of regular Bible reading? It may help to see daily Bible reading as spiritual exploration. Here is a suggestion of a pattern to follow that may help you develop the discipline but free up your mind and heart to respond.

  • Before you read, take a few moments – the time it takes to say the Lord’s Prayer – to imagine God looking at you with love. Feel yourself enfolded in that gaze. Come to scripture with your feet firmly planted.
  • Read the passage slowly before you turn to the notes. Be curious. The Bible was written over a period of nearly 1000 years, over 2000 years ago. There is always something to learn. Read and reread. If you have access to a study Bible, pay attention to any echoes of the passage you are reading in other parts of the biblical book. A word might be used in different ways by different biblical authors. Where in the story of the book are you reading? What will happen next?
  • ‘Read’ yourself as you read the story. Be attentive to your reactions – even trivial ones. What is drawing you into the story? What is repelling you? Observe yourself ‘sidelong’ as you read as if you were watching a wild animal in the forest; be still, observant and expectant.
  • What in the scripture or in the notes is drawing you forward in hope? What is closing you down? Notice where the Spirit of Life is present, and where negative spirits are, too. Follow where life is leading. God always leads into life, even if the way feels risky.
  • Lift up the world and aspects of your life to God. What would you like to share with God? What is God seeking to share with you?
  • Thank God for being present and offer your energy in the day ahead, or in the day coming after a night’s rest.

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Originally written for Fresh From the Word in December 2018.